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Fall for Dance: L-E-V, Bill Irwin and Tiler Peck, Boston Ballet, Jesus Carmona & Cia
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Fall for Dance: L-E-V, Bill Irwin and Tiler Peck, Boston Ballet, Jesus Carmona & Cia

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NY City Center
Fall for Dance – Program V

Bill Irwin and Tiler Peck
Boston Ballet
Jesús Carmona & Cia

At New York City Center

Arlene Schuler, President & CEO
Mark Litvin, Sr. VP & Managing Director
Stanford Makishi, VP Programming
Clifton Taylor, Festival Lighting Director
Leon Rothenberg, Festival Sound Supervisor
Joe Guttridge, Director, Communications

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 11, 2015

Killer Pig (2009): Created by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, Music by Ori Lichtik, Costumes by Odelia Arnold and collaborators, Lighting by Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi), Production Manager: Keren Gdalyahu Malki, Performed by the Company.

Tonight was the fifth and final night of Fall for Dance, with each program presenting four unique dance companies. The Israeli-based, L-E-V came to town with its 2009 “Killer Pig”, danced to Ori Lichtik’s extremely cacophonous, electronic music. Costumes for men were nude-shaded underpants, and, for women, nude-shaded leotards. Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, “creators” of the dance, have been connected to Ohad Naharin, whose lengthy work, “Minus 16”, is familiar to New York Ailey fans. Here, an ensemble of seven performs an exercise that’s listed in the program as “minimalist expression, intense honesty, and uncompromising physicality.” I found this work insufferable. It had its shock value, like a nightmare version of Jerome Robbins’ much more interesting The Cage, but it basically was a series of solos, alone and in unison, of dancers pretending to draw meat from each other’s imaginary carcasses, clasping fingers into claws, then walking on tiptoes like forestial, imaginary monsters.

Bill Irwin and Tiler Peck
Time It Was/aa6 (NY Premiere): Choreography by Bill Irwin, Tiler Peck, Damian Woetzel, Music by Philip Glass (“Violin Solo”), Sound by Danny Erdberg, Lighting by Aaron Copp, Production Manager: Tricia Toliver, Johnny Gandelsman on Violin, Performed by Bill Irwin and Tiler Peck.

The first and second works could not have been more contrasting, with two incomparable artists onstage in an all too brief work, choreographed by the two performers, Tiler Peck and Bill Irwin, along with Damian Woetzel, most known as a former City Ballet principal. The work was premiered last summer at Mr. Woetzel’s dance festival in Vail. Johnny Gandelsman arrived mid-ballet, on violin, to play a solo by Philip Glass. The sound score, at first, was a ticking metronome; later it was chimes. Ms. Peck, frequently reviewed on these pages in her City Ballet performances, was in full principal, ballet mode with pointe shoes and a frilly tutu. Mr. Irwin, who was also reviewed on these pages for his 2013 “Old Hats”, again brought a clown hat and loose coat as part of tonight’s costuming. His acclaimed wiggly, wobbly clownish gait was then copied, somewhat, by Ms. Peck, while Mr. Irwin, likewise, copied a curtsy and pretended to be her cavalier. He tapped with tap shoes, then she tapped with pointe shoes. I did not want this to end.

Boston Ballet
Pas de Quatre (1971): Choreography by Leonid Yacobson, Music by Vincenzo Bellini (“Norma”), Staging by Vera Solovyeva and Nikolay Levitskiy, Costumes by Boston Ballet Costume Shop, Production Manager/Technical Director: Benjamin J. Phillips, Performed by Maria Baranova, Erica Cornejo, Ashley Ellis, Misa Kuranaga.

A blissful breeze blew into City Center with Boston Ballet’s “Pas de Quatre”, choreographed in 1971 by Leonid Yacobson. Tonight it was danced to recorded instrumental excerpts of Bellini’s Norma. The Boston Ballet-created costumes were evocative of Les Sylphides, with a headband of white flowers and long, tulle, full-skirted dresses, with draped shoulder finery. When Maria Baranova, Erica Cornejo, Ashley Ellis, and Misa Kuranaga raised their arms to join and dance a springtime quartet, one would expect a romanticized cavalier to enter stage left and watch them in a dream-like rapture. But, they were alone, and each solo was, indeed, rapturous and refined. This ballet was premiered, fittingly, in St. Petersburg, Russia, where courtly finery is à la mode. It was wonderful, in the moment, to see Ms. Cornejo, who used to dance with Ballet Theatre.

Jesús Carmona & Cia
Ímpetu (US Premiere): Choreography by Jesús Carmona, Music by Daniel Jurado, Lighting by David Pérez, Production Manager: Belen Castres White, Music Performed by Jose Ibañez and Maka Ibañez on Vocals, Daniel Jurado on Guitar, Oscar Lago on Guitar, Thomas Potiron on Violin, Dance Performed by Jesús Carmona.

For the final, 20th dance entry in the 2015 Fall for Dance programs (five nights, four programs each), Jesús Carmona presented his US premiere of Ímpetu, performed alone by Mr. Carmona, with two vocalists, two guitarists, and a violinist presenting Daniel Jurado’s score. I also noticed a cajón onstage, for percussion, and the accompanying ensemble became palmeras when necessary. The driven, dynamic energy of Mr. Carmona’s footwork and tight spinning were remarkable. In the spotlight, one could see his raining perspiration and charged breathing. This was a highly rehearsed and coordinated piece, with Mr. Carmona, his musicians, vocalists, and/or palmeras functioning as a cohesive ensemble At times, Mr. Carmona took on the pose, in a spotlight flash, of a toreador, with just the red cape out of sight.

Kudos to New York City Center and all the artists and creators of Fall for Dance 2015.

Bill Irwin and Tiler Peck
in Bill Irwin, Tiler Peck, and Damian Woetzel's "Time It Was/116"
Courtesy of Julieta Cervantes

Boston Ballet
Maria Baranova, Erica Cornejo, Ashley Ellis, Misa Kuranaga
in Leonid Yakobson's "Pas de Quatre"
Courtesy of Igor Burlak Photography

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at